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Cambria says profits have strengthened as new car volume declines

Cambria Automobiles reports that its gross profit per unit on new cars has risen as the market continues to decline.

In a trading statement to the stock market, Cambria said trading across the five months to February 28 was in line with expectations, albeit down on its preceding financial year.

Its new car sales have declined 16.5% (14.6% like for like) however it said gross profit per unit has improved to partially offset the reduction in volume.

Cambria’s used vehicle sales continued to perform well, it said. Like for like units were in line with the comparable period last year, although the total sales were down 6.8% due to business lost from sites closed or refranchised in its recent portfolio review.

Cambria reported continued improvement in gross profit per unit also from its used car operations.

Aftersales revenue and profits rose 0.6% and 2.1% respectively (6.1% and 8.2% like for like).

Cambria provided an update on its franchising developments. Its new Bentley franchises are now operational at Tunbridge Wells and Chelmsford, in refurbished properties already owned by the group. These had previously housed one Honda dealership, and an Alfa Romeo and Jeep dealership, which were closed, along with two bodyshops.

Its first Lamborghini dealership is expected to open this month at Chelmsford.

Construction of a Jaguar Land Rover dealership at Hatfield began in February, after Cambria bought a 4.3 acre development plot. This has already become home to a large temporary McLaren showroom which is already trading.

The AM100 dealer group said it remains cautious about the new car market, given consumer uncertainty and the rapid decline in diesel demand plus exchange rate pressures on vehicle manufacturer offers.

However it said it has made “significant steps” in progressing its property and franchising strategy through 2017 and into 2018.

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